Latest retention figures point to recovery in NQ jobs market

Slaughter and May’s retention rate for March 2011 qualifiers has offered a ray of hope for final seat trainees.

The top five law firm has confirmed that it is retaining an impressive 96 per cent of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers. This represents a rise from previous results of 87.5 per cent in March 2010, followed by 93 per cent in September of the same year.

The news arrives despite early indications that retention rates for Spring 2011 qualifiers were going to be down marginally on last year’s after CMS Cameron McKenna, the first firm to reveal its Spring 2011 NQ retention rate (read more), and Hogan Lovells (read more) revealed a drop in figures to 60 per cent and 66 per cent respectively. 

Meanwhile, White & Case’s retention rate for March 2011 qualifiers remained steady at 92 per cent with the international firm keeping 12 out of its 13 NQs, revealing little change from its August 2010 figure of 94 per cent and a climb from last March, which was set at 88 per cent.

Graduate recruitment co-ordinator Shahnaz Begum said: “We’re very happy to continue on the success of our August 2010 NQ retention rate of over 90 per cent, which is reflective in the quality and standard of trainees completing our training programme.”

Elsewhere, Weil Gotshal and Manges has become the first firm to announce a 100 per cent NQ retention rate for its trainees due to qualify in its London office in spring 2011.

The US firm revealed it is keeping both of its Spring qualifiers, showing a boost from its September 2010 figures, which saw a 70 per cent retention rate.

Nabarro revealed almost 85 per cent retention, shedding only 2 of of13 trainees qualifying in January 2011. These results echo previous years, with January 2010 retaining 12 out of 14 trainees, and September 2010 a retention of 18 out of 21. 

SNR Denton also showed improvement from its poor March 2010 retention rate of only 14 per cent by revealing 79 per cent retention for spring 2011 (read more).